Arsenal have signed Brazil midfielder Willian on a three-year deal after the 32-year-old’s contract with Chelsea expired.
The 32-year-old forward is an experienced player and has made more than 600 club appearances in a career spanning 13 seasons. He has played in leagues all over the world and Arsenal will be hoping he can given them a big boost next season.
Willian started at Brazilian side Corinthians, before joining Shakhtar Donetsk in August 2007. In his six years there, he won four Ukrainian Premier League titles and the Uefa Cup in 2009. Four years later, he briefly signed for Anzhi Makhachkala before joining Chelsea, winning the Premier League and League Cup in his second season in England.
During his seven years at Chelsea, he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League. He made 339 appearances, with 63 goals and 56 assists in that time.
“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” Mikel Arteta told the Arsenal.com. “We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions. He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Arsenal technical director Edu said: “I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club. He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.“
The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.